Before you got engaged everything was rainbows and kissing guppies. Then a crazed alter ego took hold of you — and now it’s all Xanax and, well, Xanax. To get the better of your prenuptial neuroses, keep reading.
Rationally, you know you can’t have your announcements hand-delivered by little chirping Disney-esque birdies. So let Paper Doll design a custom invite that hits the right (subtle) note (2048 West Division Street, 773-227-6950). Or find inner peace with the calming, Asian-inspired invites from Sarah Drake Design.
Find a Safe Space
A perfect blank slate: the studio and terrace of Prairie Production. Big enough to fit 200, the white-washed space is a photo studio by day, event venue by night (1314 West Randolph Street, 312-829-7499). Love it, but your guest list’s too big? A Perfect Event suggests ditching tables and rocking a cocktail party reception with finger food (panini lollipops, ahi tuna french fries) and a signature drink (3050 North Lincoln Avenue, 773-244-9333).
Studies have found that music soothes the psyche. Engaging Events by Ali took that to heart by arranging for a classical chamber orchestra to play during one recent ceremony (773-777-2299). For your reception, rock out with Colby Beserra and the Party Faithful: Started by a team of Ken Arlen Orchestra vets, they’re hip enough for you but still acceptable to mom and dad (847-733-9883).
The fantasy: You slip into the perfect dress at White Chicago, and there just happens to be a photographer from Studio E3 on hand to capture the moment (every Wednesday night in November). Thank your lucky stars for bridesmaid dresses from Special Occasion Separates and Gem jewelry parties where maids have a hand in the design (1710 North Damen Avenue, 773-384-7700).
Remember His Oedipal Complex
Time for mama’s boy to grow up in a Balani made-to-order suit (10 South LaSalle Street, 312-345-1535; by appointment only). If his mom’s hocking a chaynik about candy and nuts on the tables, give her a custom handmade silk chuppah from Gray Dove that she can kvell over and be done with it (773-701-0750 or email@example.com).
Beyond the Pleasure Principle
Do an after-party for the bridal party. Have Toast & Jam spin ’80s new wave music, ’70s AM radio jams, and hip-hop to set the mood (773-481-1333 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Hire Kaze Sushi to cater a sushi bar. Book your local pedicurist for foot massages. And send them home with a treat from Hilary’s Cookies.
Don’t Repress Memories
When it’s over, all you’re left with is the photos. Get to see every last one of them when you work with Steve Goldhaber. In addition to your album, he gives you a DVD with optimized images that can be printed any place you like (312-933-9229 or email@example.com). Let Anthology Films create a docu-style movie, a la When Harry Met Sally, of how you met (773-935-2294 or firstname.lastname@example.org). And then grab a box of Kleenex and watch it over and over (and over) again.
No need to overanalyze it.
Still fixated on all things bridal? Check out our spring 2006 wedding guide.